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How the Olympics hacked off the Marshes

For Johnnie Walker, a sprightly 80 this year, it is the sort of skill that makes it worth getting out of bed on a freezing Sunday morning.

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On a roped-off show pitch on Hackney Marshes, a fascinating contest is unfolding between local side Phoenix and FC Tripimeni in the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup – and Phoenix striker Nico Muir has just rounded the goalkeeper to score a goal that would grace any game at any level.

“This is perfection,” says Walker, chairman of the Hackney and Leyton Sunday league. “You’ve got two good teams out there, the pitch is perfect. That is why I’m still here. I wouldn’t turn up every week and watch bloody rubbish.”

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